Bob Sjostrom, 67, social worker, community volunteer

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Robert G. Sjostrom, a resident of Oak Park for nearly 30 years and a retired social worker at the Edward A. Hines Jr. V.A. Hospital, died Monday at Loyola University Hospital after a battle with cancer.

One of six children of Robert and Edna Sjostrom, Bob grew up in the Beverly area on Chicago's Southwest Side. He graduated from Morgan Park High School in Chicago and from the University of Illinois in Urbana, and obtained a masters degree in social work from George Williams College.

In the 1970s, he moved to Oak Park, attracted, as were some of his brothers and his sister, by the good schools and vibrant community life.

He worked for the V.A. for more than 30 years, serving directly the needs of patients and also monitoring nursing homes where V.A. patients were cared for.

After his retirement from the V.A., he volunteered at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago, where he helped plan and conduct activities for patients, including summer camps.

For many years, he and his dear friend Jeannie Friedell hosted a monthly meeting at their home to make lunches for homeless persons in PADS shelters in the near western suburbs.

Bob Sjostrom is survived by his mother, Edna Sjostrom, a resident of the Oak Park Arms retirement community; his brothers, Joe (Jane Mcatee), Jerry (Nancy), and Dan (Colleen) of Oak Park; his brother Bill (Laurie) of Cork, Ireland; his sister, Martha (David Ott), of Chicago; his daughter, Sarah, and granddaughter, Maria Isabella, of Bedford, Mass.; and his dear friend, Jeannie Friedell, of Oak Park, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 25, at the Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Visitation with the family will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., and the memorial service at 3 p.m.

It was Bob's wish that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to Shriners Childrens Hospital, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60635. A memorial website can be found here.

Reader Comments

17 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Dr. James Mazepa from Sarasota, FL  

Posted: July 2nd, 2011 4:25 PM

Bob and I first met in the Department of Social Work at Hines Hospital, and continued our friendship after I left. Bob was a delightful man and an inspiration to all who knew him. He has left his mark on on the many people he served. May his memory be eternal!

Rudi and shinta from Tara hall  

Posted: June 29th, 2011 9:55 PM

We were shocked & saddened to hear the news. Bob had been very kind and welcoming ever since we moved to the building. We will miss having him around. Our thoughts and prayer are with jeannie and his family.

Holly Wright  

Posted: June 26th, 2011 9:11 AM

My condolences to Jeannie and Bob's whole family. He was such a kind person and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

friend of Bob from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2011 8:05 PM

An online memorial site was added this afternoon. (See the link at the end of the article above) Sorry for the delay. Please feel free to share photos, memories, condolences and what-have-you.

Jayne Chilton from Elmwood Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2011 6:33 PM

An awful lot of people cared about this guy. I have been privileged to know and be of service to him for so many years. We will all miss him.

diane krstulovich from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2011 10:20 AM

(fyi - an online tribute site has been added at findagrave.com, pending family approval but it is currently functional)

Kirk and Jean Whitesdie from Novato, California  

Posted: June 25th, 2011 7:27 AM

Our condolences to the entire Sjostrom family. We continue to treasure the moments that we spent with Bub and all the Sjostroms during the '70's.

Diane Kristulovich from Oak Park  

Posted: June 24th, 2011 8:15 PM

Bob was an instrumental part of the SPN community, often contributing to dinners or holiday parties or other get-togethers, like the PADS lunches. It was fun to see, 'what is he up to now?' because he never let his challenges stop him from playing a very active role in LIVING! We'll miss you, Bob.

Penny Paraskevas from Indianapolis, IN  

Posted: June 24th, 2011 7:03 PM

Bub's former wife and the mother of their wonderful daughter is a friend who I've known since high school. I was living in Chicago when they were married, so I was truly lucky to know Bub. Even though I moved away, my memories of him are vivid, as is my admiration of this very wonderful man. My heart goes out to his family, and also his friends, who will miss him deeply.

ronald madej  

Posted: June 24th, 2011 6:58 PM

Bob was an inspiration to everyone who was priveleged to have known him. The world is a lesser place without him.

Andria R from Oak Park  

Posted: June 24th, 2011 6:56 PM

I was so sorry to hear of Bob's passing. He was a wonderful man and will truly be missed. Jeannie - our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mike Blacconiere from Hines VA  

Posted: June 24th, 2011 5:16 PM

Bob was a great, kind man and an excellent coworker. All who were touched by Bob will miss him.

Jeff Nguyen from Oak Park  

Posted: June 24th, 2011 4:36 PM

A kind soul and a gentleman. We will miss you.

Mimi & Larry from Oak Park  

Posted: June 23rd, 2011 9:43 PM

Truly a nice person, and it was a priviledge to have known him and be friendly with him and Jeannie. He will be missed.

Cindy Gradle from Oak Park  

Posted: June 23rd, 2011 5:24 PM

Bob was one of the nicest people ever. He was a great friend and I will miss him.

Rachel Burke from Cork (Ireland)  

Posted: June 23rd, 2011 4:36 PM

Our thoughts are with you all through these hard times. Burke Family ( Ireland )

Charles Meyerson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 11:25 PM

Bob was a great comfort to my father, a patient at Hines for many years. He always had a smile for us then, and, later, as we grew to know him through school and work connections to his brother Joe's family. Our deep sympathy to the whole Sjostrom family.

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